Sharing your knowledge, increasing your value

Advertising legend David Ogilvy provided a great example of how generously giving away some of your industry knowledge and expertise can lead to increased paid business opportunities.Beginning in the late 1960s, Ogilvy launched a series of “house” ads giving detailed instructions on how to create ads that sell. His critics thought he’d lost his marbles by giving away his intellectual property. But what really happened? He demonstrated to the world that he was the thought leader on how to write high-impact, effective advertising content, and his own business soared.These same principles can still work for your business today. Your organization can grow revenue by giving away something of real value that leads to future business. What could you “give away?” Does your organization excel at something unique? Can your organization offer valuable knowledge that will position you as the go-to person in your field?At Savvy, we’ve applied Ogilvy’s principle by producing a series of one-to-four hour workshops that deliver valuable knowledge for a small registration fee that covers lunch and room space. The point is not to make a direct profit on these learning events, but rather to deliver value to the attendees to forge future business.These workshops are designed to educate, inform and inspire existing clients and reach out to potential customers. Think of each event as a one-to-many sales meeting, with a roomful of engaged and interested attendees that might otherwise take weeks and months to visit face to face.We think of these events as “education-based marketing.” Each program offers informative speakers that attract like-minded professionals looking to keep their competitive edge, sharpen their skills and stay on top of the latest industry trends. These learning events deliver significant results for our business.We’ve also presented informative “boot camps” designed to help our clients succeed in today’s marketplace. In each session, we bring in experts and thought leaders to share their ideas, inspire and inform us and our visitors.For example, last summer’s “Tradeshow Boot Camp” prepared workshop participants and their staff for upcoming tradeshow events, including pre-show promotion, day-of-event coaching and post-tradeshow follow-up to maximize return on investment for any tradeshow or conference.Gain customer loyaltyAnother type of event provides a niche service at a premium value so your audience perceives you as their business ally. The point is not to make a direct profit on these services, but rather to deliver value to the attendees to secure future business.For example, we run a highly successful Headshot Workshop for our customers. We bring in expert hair and make-up artists and a talented photographer to shoot the images, providing each attendee with a professional headshot for use in social media and PR. Because it’s an organized event, the price is much lower than an individual sitting, and it’s more fun too because they’re social events that make the customers feel like stars.The benefits of these events include: • Clients gain something of value • Business relationships are forged • Presenters get exposure too • New business relationships can be united through networkingAnother benefit: At many of these events, we feature case exercises in which the entire class participates in brainstorming sessions on how to help a local nonprofit organization that is in attendance that day. As we promote these events through online and social media outlets, our attendees share these posts which dramatically increases our reach .You can follow Ogilvy’s lead by sharing your knowledge and increase your value. Find a subject that interests your customers, invite an expert in and host an event. You can grow your business and professional network by serving as the catalyst for providing service or knowledge of value to your audience.Lisa Landry, CEO and president of Print Savvy & Savvy Workshop, Manchester, can be reached at 603-656-9009 or